Sunken Empires, a Wonder of the Deep
It’s not so much a setting as it is a toolkit for building an underwater setting for your own game. It discusses Atlantis, Lemuria, and Mu as worldbuilding examples, and goes on to a walk-through of creating the Lost City of Ankeshel. It discusses how various classes function in an undersea setting, with new feats, non-magical equipment to help characters survive, and the requisite spells and magic items…
My favorite part, though, is the section on undersea adventuring. The first line feels like it was written specifically for me: “Adventurers are most comfortable when the feet are on solid ground”. Yes, please! It then breaks down how to run underwater adventures by levels… It’s a nice breakdown, and puts my player-self at ease that a competent gamemaster shouldn’t be throwing things at a party that they shouldn’t handle. Not that they shouldn’t be doing that on dry land, too, but it’s good adventure design advice. The section goes on to describe various types of “environmental zones”, both coastal and submerged, to further accommodate adventure design.
As with every Open Design project I’ve seen, the writing is tight, the layout is simple and geared toward ease of use, and the artwork is gorgeous. It’s a very well done product. If you have any use whatsoever for water-based adventure material, or want a solid primer on designing underwater settings and adventures, here it is. This one’s going on the self with my other pirate stuff, and I anticipate that I’ll be mining it regularly for ideas.
Read the full review at UncleBear Media.
More than merely presenting a novel adventure setting, this book sets out to equip the GM with the tools to set his own stamp on what could well become memorable adventures, demonstrating how to create a feeling of wonder even amidst what is already a fantastical alternate reality.
(5 of 5 stars, by by Megan Robertson)
Read the full review at DriveThruRPG.
I like how Sunken Empires takes the effort to make aquatic games accessible to any level of play, discussing expected challenges and solutions.
I really enjoyed Sunken Empires and I’ll probably be referring to it for years to come. I already have plans for my first aquatic session—more on that later.
Read the full review at tenletter.